The plumber's receptionist seemed nice enough when she made an appointment to fix my air conditioner. The condensate overflow fitting had rusted off, the drain had clogged with goop, and water was dripping down the back of the unit. I asked if they offered a senior discount and she said no, but then she told me that she had a $40.00 coupon that she would give me. That told me that my repair was probably going to be pricey, but I thanked her anyway.
When the plumber pulled up on my driveway he parked within a few feet of my front door, and he opened my screen door to come in before I even got to the door or spoke to him. This made me feel crowded and disrespected. When I got to my front door I saw a big sign on the cab of his truck, letters about a foot tall that read, "Got Poop?" I gaped at it and spontaneously said, "Well, that's something I've never seen before." He snarled at me, "You got a problem with that?" I was taken aback as that was tough talk, so I blandly said, "No, it's your business." He did not introduce himself, he did not tell me his name. He appeared to be wired up, drugs maybe, hard, and mean. He disappeared into the basement and before I could make my way halfway down the basement stairs he was bounding back upstairs and out to his truck to get a part. I sat down on the sofa in the living room and waited for him to tell me what he was doing. He did not. After a few minutes in the basement he came up and was going out to his truck to get his invoice. I stopped him by saying quietly but firmly, "Do you want to tell me what you did?" He did a double-take because he had thought I was an old lady pushover. I could see that he was wondering if I was calling him out on his bad behavior. I was not interested in arguing with him, and waited until he briefly told me that he had cut the hose where it had deteriorated (which caused it to be too short to connect fully and to funnel water onto the floor) and he put an additional clamp on the condensate fitting (which did nothing to fix the problem). Then, curiously, he told me that he would not charge me (for his 10 minutes of sloppy work that failed to fix the problem.) He knew that his behavior was out of line and he hoped I would not say anything.
The next day a heating and cooling specialist fixed the problem pleasantly and inexpensively.
Caption: AC condensate pipe after jerry-rigged fix fail
by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019